How to get shot.
Let’s say you have what appears to be an AK47 without actually holding it, it’s a very realistic replica. Keyword, replica. Now let’s say you don’t have an orange tip on it. Now let’s say I have a need for you to put it down. If you didn’t, would you expect to be shot at? Well, lets fill in some blanks.
I dislike police. I feel the whole system needs major work. But I recognize they don’t have it exactly piss easy. Now let’s say you see a guy walking around the streets with what appears to be an AK 47, not holstered or anything, just clutching it in his mitts. You, as an officer, become concerned. Sure, open carry laws exist, but even then most people have such a thing on a sling, and stay away from certain types of areas. Regardless, a person walking around with apparently an assault rifle capable of death.
You may or may not be aware that the AK is capable of piercing many things, including a simple car door. Your only wall is in fact your patrol car’s door. A teacher was killed just yesterday a state away by a twelve year old kid, you don’t really know who you could trust at the moment. You and your partner draw your sidearms and call for the person to put the rifle down. He doesn’t, and turns to you. You ask again, and still he doesn’t. Ten seconds have passed, he could be taking aim, the questions are: Why have they not complied with a fairly reasonable order from a police officer, and how likely are you to die right now? Then one last question, do you figure these two out the hard way, or defend yourself from the possible hard way?
Ever since my earliest years in school, regardless of who was president and the such like, police officers have always stated, even with an orange tip, never ever point a gun at another person, especially a police officer. “You WILL be shot.” I’d like to think if I was thirteen and have heard this many times, and if I was holding something that looks a fuck of a lot like a deadly weapon, I’d put it down when asked by a cop. I’d actually not have been strolling around in the open with such a thing. But then, that’s not what Andy Lopez did, age thirteen at death. Yes, he died, yes, patrolmen asked him to put the supposed gun down. Yes, he didn’t and instead turned to face them, despite it being common knowledge you do not face a cop when suspected of having a deadly weapon. Yes, this is unfortunate, but one simple compliance would have avoided this outcome.
The surprising part is how polarized this issue is. Allow me to go over the various claims.
First, that it was a toy, how could they not know? Here is a photo of the, uh, toy. I’ve handled multiple AKs in my life, fired them. They don’t exactly look all alike. This looks reasonably real, no way around it.
Second, that there was no threat. Most of the reports you can read, google around, indicate he turned and raised the weapon towards the police. The basic reaction for any cop then is to fire before they can.
Third, was that ten seconds wasn’t enough time for this kid to have a chance. In ten seconds they asked him twice to put the gun down, and at the age of thirteen, I think the last thing I would have done was started to turn and aim the fucking thing. Ten seconds is plenty of time to not do the exact opposite thing I just heard twice.
Fourth, that they fired too many shots. If you are panicked, your aim isn’t great. If your aim isn’t great, you’re gonna compensate with multiple shots. If you feel you could be shot dead, then your gut reaction is to prevent this. If you have a gun and someone else is starting to point a gun or supposed gun at you, either you’re gonna just freeze up, try to run, or fire.
Fifth, that cops should only return fire, and that they had a car door as cover. An AK round would piss right through that shitty door and riddle your sternum with a painful end. Fuck return fire. No one needs to die here, if the kid dropped his replica, he’d be fine. If the cop just let him aim at him, and if it was a real gun, we’d have a dead cop and a gunner on the loose. Neither result is good, but there’s cause and effect for both.
Sixth, open carry laws. Fine, but you still should put the fucking thing down if a cop is spooked, if you think he’s in the wrong, court’s available. Use a little common sense.
Seventh, that the gun was planted on him. Do explain why a cop would needlessly kill a kid? I could almost accept the claim that they overreacted to a toy gun, but claiming the kid was walking around with nothing and thus got shot up by a cop? Then they sprinkled crack on the kid, right? Sure.
To conclude, I’m not defending the police. Our collective state is shitty, as are many laws, and those that hold them are prone to mistakes and even pure corruption. But you can’t point at this kind of event and blame the police. The kid could’ve listened. The parents could’ve had the kid not carry this thing without and orange tip, or without something to put it in. But if I asked any cop, no matter how bad or good, if they had a reason to think an AK47 was about to be fired at them, they’d always say they’re going to shoot. This whole thing is terrible, a tragic accident, it’s not malicious on the cop’s part. How can we, as a country, go about reforming the police and government, if we’re going to scapegoat them for non-reasons?